Managing formats

When you send or receive a text or short message service (SMS) message for work purposes, it is a State record. This means it must be captured, maintained and disposed of in accordance with the State Records Act 1998.

CAD (computer aided design) software is used to develop engineering and technical design documents. Literally hundreds of work hours can go into developing CAD drawings. They are valuable and important work resources but they can also be very difficult to manage.

Advances in technology have ensured that it is now easy to create, replicate and share digital images. However, these images generally take up a lot of storage space are more susceptible to abuse or human error. Therefore it is important to carefully address issues regarding the capture, management and disposal of digital images, particularly if they are to be used for evidentiary purposes.

If your organisation has the opportunity to purchase new equipment for recording, they should examine what file formats or codecs are supported and if they are suitable for the intended use and longevity of the recording. This guidance identifies some of the things to consider when choosing a file format for creating new audio and video material.

The terminology used for digital audio and video can be extremely confusing, particularly as terms are often used interchangeably. The major terms are defined on this page.

Due to social distancing requirements NSW public offices have embraced and deployed virtual meetings in lieu of face-to-face meetings. Virtual conference platforms enable recording of meetings. These recordings are State records. 

This advice provides information on establishing business rules on how to manage recordings and related disposal classes.

Public offices use a wide variety of equipment and software in creating records of official business. Some of the digital formats are text, images, videos, CAD files, databases and websites. These records have to be managed and be made accessible for as long as they are required, regardless of the file format or the technology used when they were originally created. 

Under s14 of the State Records Act 1998, it is the public office’s responsibility to ensure that the information remains able to be produced or made available for the minimum authorised retention period irrespective of changing technology.

One of the strategies to ensure that records remain accessible or usable over a period of time is the use of sustainable file formats. This guidance lists recommended file formats for records creation.